Sunday, April 28, 2013

I found my feminist DNA link!

Well, well, well!! Who would have thought it possible? Not my Dad for sure! My Mom was very very happy about it! But who would have thought it!

You see, my family of birth, has a history and a present of staunch right wing conservatism which sometimes makes Rush look like a tree hugging hippie! And that is on both sides, but my Dad's side really just swims in that pool of DNA! The pool that says, "white is right", "homos will burn in hell", "get the hell out of MY country if you aren't white and american"and "women should know their place; in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant and waiting on the man!" Yep...that's the DNA from which I hail!

So imagine the surprise when I was growing up and growing into my hippie tree hugging radical feminist rebellious self! Imagine the surprise when I didn't grow out of it! Imagine when I was approaching 60 and I announced not only was I this hippie chick who was a feminist but now a pagan witch! Yep....if I didn't look so much like both sides of this family one would conjecture I was adopted from some gypsies who forgot to take me with them in their weed induced trippy exit so they wouldn't be put in jail or burned at the stake.

Well, well, well! Imagine all of our surprise during our search of my paternal grandmother's line that Dad and I came upon Margaret Elizabeth "Lizzie" Crozier French (May 7, 1851-May 14, 1926)!
Lizzie French was an American educator, women's suffragist and social reform activist. She was one of the primary leaders in the push for women's rights in Tennessee in the early 1900's and helped the state become the 36th state to certify the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, giving women the right to vote, in 1920. She also founded the Ossoli Circle, the oldest federated women's club in the South, and led efforts to bring coeducation to the University of Tennessee.

This was the missing piece I cried out!

"Oh dear God, she got it from MY side of the family," Dad declared.

"Oh thank God, she didn't get it on MY side of the family!" my Mom stated with joy!

I am thrilled! And this women is my great, great, great aunt on my Paternal Grandmother's side; the Grandmother who carried Cherokee blood although this woman was not of that blood!

I devoured all I could find out about her on the internet which is a lot!

In the early 1900s, the women's magazine, The Delineator, conducted a survey and analysis of states' laws regarding the rights of women, and ranked Tennessee in a tie with Louisiana for last place. French described the position of married women in the state as "nothing more or less than that of a slave," pointing out that they had no right to their own property or earnings. In a 1912 speech to the Tennessee Bar Association, she blasted the state's legal bias toward men. She urged them to "not simply alter one law concerning women here and there, but to take the whole bunch and burn it up."

In 1914, Knoxville's city commission enacted an ordinance that essentially allowed prostitutes in parts of the city to operate without fear of arrest. French assailed the commission over this ordinance, and engaged in a back-and-forth with Mayor Samuel G. Heiskell over the city's refusal to arrest men who hire prostitutes. During this period, French began publishing a magazine, The People, the purpose of which was to expose the corrupt "ring leaders" running the city. She pointed out that the journal was not a guide for "society ladies," stating, "you will not learn from these columns how to butter your bread or hold your fork."

How very exciting to know that in fact I have DNA of this Lizzie Crozier French!

So my Dad will have to grieve that he brought that feminist, outspoken, radical DNA and gifted it to me and my Mom can rejoice that in fact she was not the culprit and thus can stop being embarrassed by me in her prime and proper circles and the family!

I can't wait to learn all I can about this amazing woman who made such an impact of the rights of women! Hail Lizzie Crozier French! Thank you for this amazing DNA!

Blessed be!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Many will not want to read what I am blogging today and that is OK.

I had a very hard time going to sleep last night. Why should that be? The two men responsible for the fatal bombing at the Boston Marathon are no longer threats. His brother is dead and Dzhokhar is now in custody getting medical treatment so he can be charged in this crime and then interrogated. All is well within the system and the town of Waterford.

Of course there are three funerals yet to be had and the grieving is in process of those who were injured; lost limbs, sight and will suffer with PTSD.

But I could not get this young man out of my mind and I realized out of my heart. All of a sudden I was in the boat with him. As I gazed upon this 19 year old man I began to sense a frightened little boy.

I wonder what he was thinking as he hunkered down under the covering of that boat. I wonder if he was scared, if he was remorseful, if he just wanted to be back to his normal life. This young man, who had his whole life before him and who was well thought of, participated in a most horrendous event. Did he even realize the impact of what he did? Did he even care? I sensed that he did.

And what about his brother? Did he know he was dead? Did he remember running over his brother as he fled in the stolen car trying to get away despite his injuries? Did he wish he had been killed at that exact time during the 200 rounds of ammunition that were fired by the well trained policemen? Did he wish he would die in the boat or was he praying to Allah that he be found much sooner than he was.

Did he cry? Did he want to be back in the arms of his mother being rocked to sleep after a terrible nightmare? Did he realize that his life was now over?

What happened? How did these two young men turn from being happy with their lives to feeling the need to hurt others? It is the same question we ask every time there is a tragedy of this magnitude. We asked it when all the precious children were gunned down; we asked it when all the people in the theater were massacred; we asked it after the Oklahoma bombing and we will continue to ask it into eternity. It is an unanswerable question.

This one is easier, for you see these young men were not white home grown Americans. We can now blame it on another religion and on allowing "these people" to come into our country.

I am not taking away from the horrendous event that happened this week by connecting with this other human being. You see, that is what I do! It is what I have been both burdened and blessed with. I connect with the people who do things that hurt other people and hurt themselves. Guess it is why I stayed a Child Abuse Social Worker for 33 years.

I was there in the boat with this young man. There was no evil here but another human being who made the decision for whatever reason to hurt other people. I grieve for this man too. I have to for you see he is my brother in the human race.

I hope he gets punished for his crime. I hope that he heals from his wounds and he decides to cooperate with the investigators so someone can stop the next assault, because you see my friends there will be more assaults. Not because we live in now a terrible world, for you see there have always been assaults; but because we all have the propensity to harm others.

I think there is one very frightened little boy laying in the hospital wondering how it all went wrong. Or at least my heart hopes so. That is the way I can make sense of it all!

Blessed be!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I carry Wasp energy

When I was around 8 years of age, I was sitting on my grandmother's metal glider. What I didn't know was that there was a wasp nest under it and the community did not like that I was swinging the glider.

Before I knew it I was swarmed by the wasps and stung, my mom said, probably 50 times. I had stings all over my body. The interesting thing is that until 5 years ago I thought it was my middle sister who had the experience. I can close my eyes and see her getting stung; her sitting on the kitchen counter getting attended to; her crying, but in fact it was me. Funny how the mind works.

So I have been thinking lately about wasps; maybe cause there is a wasp nest now in the ceiling of my balcony. But none the less; wasp has been on my mind as has this experience. I looked up WASP symbolism and this is what I found:

 Animal Symbolism of the Wasp
Animal symbolism of the Wasp Animal symbolism of the wasp deals with:
  • order
  • construction
  • communication
  • involvement
  • development
  • progress
  • team-work
  • productivity
In some African traditions, the wasp is a symbol of evolution, and control over our life circumstances.
Some Native American Indian tribal myth inidcates the wasp as the creator of the earth, and was a symbol of order, organization as well as productivity.
Ancient European lore recognizes the wasp as big part in pollination. Here the wasp is symbolic of fertility as this genre of earth-based believers honored the wasp for its role in continuation of certain plants and flowers.
The prime season of the wasp is spring, and so it is symbolic of new beginnings, and starting new projects.
The wasp is very social, and has special means of communication with its family. When the wasp appears in our lives it is a message for us to consider our own methods of communication. The wasp might be a sign that we may need to express ourselves more clearly.
Because the wasp is symbolic of communication, order and productivity, those who encounter the wasp may ask themselves:
  • "Are all my affairs in order?"
  • "Am I aligning myself with my goals?"
  • "Am I procrastinating about something?"
  • "Am I keeping myself from reaching my highest potential?"
  • "Am I allowing my progress to be held back by others?"
Those with the wasp as their totem may learn more by asking these questions of themselves, and calling upon the wasp for more clarification too.
Wasps are perfect totems for those of us who need a bit of organized focus, and assistance with assertive communication.
The wasp can also help in areas of building, whether it be a new home, or building on a dream - the wasp is a master architect and can guide you with the planning of any building project you have in mind.

Interesting enough is that I am a very organized person and when I look back over my life of employment I see that I succeed at everything I do. I am highly productive.

So, I think when I was stung; I received WASP energy that has led me through my life! I am all about community and good communication. My affairs are in order; I align myself with my goals and I never procrastinate.

But I must say, I need to call upon WASP now that I have this dream of living in a cottage type house surrounded by trees. I can feel it in my soul that this will happen. What is holding me back? The fear that I cannot afford to do this. It is all about money.

So that's my connection with the wasp! There is something to be said that I didn't have a bad reaction to the stings; only that itching that comes from a bee sting. But the gifts have been worth every sting. Especially since I only remember it happening to my sister!

Gotta love the brain of protection!

Blessed be!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Magick I Work

I thought I was going to Earthfare this morning for groceries; which I did get; but it was the drive to and from that was the reason for my trip this morning. Traveling from Lake Wylie to Rock Hill takes me through farm land; areas of small and aging homes and a few broken down barns and many many beautiful trees now in full regalia! And a tremendous amount of memories flooded my mind and heart as I drove there and back.

I began remembering homes I had been in when I first began my career as a Social Worker. Initially I worked with the elderly and disabled adults. Many of the families I worked with in Chesapeake, Virginia lived in what seemed to be old slave quarters; but now they were called "the Projects." They were really one room buildings with a woodstove for heat ; a very small stove and sink; sometimes a refrigerator and sometimes not; a very small toilet and bathtub and a living room/bed room area that was entered from the front door. These places were dark and smelled of urine and old food and the wood stove.

And yet the people who invited me to join their journey were warm, loving, accepting and poor. They often offered me their last bit of food as a way to include me into their family. I wouldn't accept it; I was told not to!

And then I began to remember other families; some I could call by name still after almost 40 years and many who were just faces appearing to me on my drive to and from Earthfare.

Memories of children I "rescued" from abusive families; women I "rescued" from abusive kids and men; stories I heard from birth families and from foster and adoptive parents. All as I was invited to enter into their own stories of love, grief, loss, abuse, successes and many failures. And I always accepted the invitation to enter into their own story; often sharing bits and pieces of my own and also sharing food with them. After awhile I learned how to break the rules in order to meld with those who so desperately needed someone to bring Light into their otherwise Dark world.

That is The Magick I Work! That was the reason for my trip to Earthfare and back this morning.

You see, I would love to be the Witch who could create great magick in the kitchen and garden. I would love to be the Witch who could do spells and call down incredible energy at the altar. I would love to be the Witches in Practical Magic or the Witches who I friend on facebook.

But the fact is I Work a Different Kind of Magic. I bring Light! I bring Hope! I bring a Different Way of Looking at an Old Path! I Know People! I have a gift for being aware of what they need or what they want even before they do! I have the gift of not being so arrogant as to think that what I know is really what they will accept or even is exactly right for them at the time we are together. Sometimes I get to plant the seed and then have faith that it will take root and grow when Goddess knows it is the right time.

I am no longer a "social worker", but I still Work Magick! At the job I have now, people come to me to talk about their frustrations, their struggles or just stop by my cubicle to see me smile at them. That is the Magick I work. I am AVAILABLE!

And I am open to always entering someones journey; no matter how difficult; how chaotic; or how threatening. I am there to enter into journeys that others shy away from; and I am there to be a Voice for those without a Voice! And I have a loud voice sometimes.

Recently a friend told me to "calm down" when I became very out spoken about the amount of money the Catholic church has and yet so many are hungry. He said to me, "You really get too excited over things you have no control over." Ahhh, but you see that is the Magick I work. I am willing to be the Voice for those things others think they have no control over. I know I have don't have control either, but that doesn't keep me from being the Voice! Being the Voice for the LBGT; a Voice for Women; a Voice for abused children; a Voice against pornography; against those who don't understand mental illness and a Voice that speaks for peace, love, understanding and Light!

This is the Magick I work. And it is good Magick! And it is Magick that goes deeper than anything I can even begin to imagine. It amazes me when someone tells me, "You are always smiling! It makes it easier to get through my day with you here." That my friend is true Magick.

So, I will continue to grow herbs on my balcony and try to remember what each are for. And I will collect stones and have to keep going back to my book to remember what they are used for or even their names. And I will set my altar for each Sabbat and then forget to spend time there.

But what I know how to do instinctively is be Available and to Listen. I know how to be ready to say yes when invited into someones life if for a moment passing in the hallway or for a lifetime. That is the Magick I Work!

Funny how all it takes sometimes is to go to the grocery store outside your neighborhood and Life makes sense!

Aho and Blessed be!

Saturday, April 6, 2013


I grew up on the wrong side of the tracks in a town called Roanoke, Virginia. You see when I was growing up and it still is today, the City was known by it's three sections:  Northwest, South Roanoke and Southeast. Northwest was where the Blacks and poor whites lived, South Roanoke was where the rich white people lived and Southeast had the poor white trash, and the white rednecks and the whites who were trying to move up the ladder. I grew up in Southeast.

Well, that was until my daddy decided to move us to Southwest Roanoke County. Now that was where the middle class was moving into as the farm land was being developed into subdivisions. My Daddy had great intentions and it turned out to be real good for my siblings but not so much for me.

He moved us in the middle of my 7th grade year and decided to keep taking me back to Lee Junior School in the City which had a reputation as being the badass school for white trash. I began my life in Southwest Roanoke County being carted back and forth to Lee Junior where the girls were as mean and trashy as the boys. I got beat up on the way to the bus after school one day by a gang of girls just because.

It was true, I never fit in at that school. I was a nice girl who didn't fight and I came from a family who had good values, a mom who stayed at home raising 5 kids and a dad who worked long hours to support us all. We went to church every Sunday and we all knew we were loved and cared for.

So off we moved and the persecution and abuse began. Now before I go on, I want to say that it was not all bad. We lived within walking distance of the neighborhood swimming pool and I have great memories of hanging with friends there. I played basketball all my high school years and had friends there. But I know Persecution first hand.

I won't own that I have felt anything like the Persecution others have, BUT, I never was accepted into the "life" of Southwest County Cave Spring High School because as soon as I moved into the neighborhood and kids knew from where I hailed, I had a label stuck right on me. I was the girl from SouthEast! White Trash, Redneck, and from the "wrong side of the tracks" were the labels I carried with me until graduation.

My Daddy was a salesman and did very well for himself and the family. Our home in SW County was very nice; mom didn't have to work; but money was tight and I didn't have the clothing the other girls had and I didn't get to go places, didn't get to be in dance, etc. I played basketball.

But I was happy for the most part, smiled all the time but so wanted to be a part of the popular group or at least the group that didn't have the label of "from the wrong side of the tracks" pinned on it.

I was rewarded with the nickname of Horseface by the boy across the street as I had a large overbite that couldn't be fixed due to money issues and a dentist who told my parents I had soft teeth and would not have an issue with "buck teeth". But you see I did. Horseface followed me for long after I graduated from the 99% white upper middle class school where all the kids got to have braces and expensive clothing (well, a large majority!).

In fact, when my ex husband and I started dating after high school (he graduated 2 years before me); we would frequently run into his friends from high school and the comment would be, "Hey there Bob! Oh, and Horseface? You guys are dating?" Needless to say he ran in the "popular" group at high school.

So why am I blogging about this? Well, that is how I ended up marrying this man. You see I was swept away by the fact that this guy from the popular group in high school wanted to date me, the girl "from the wrong side of the tracks." And swept away I was. It never dawned on me to look at who this man really was, who his family really was, or even how he too looked at me as the "girl from the wrong side of the tracks" that he was saving me and would turn into....well, never figured out that one....but I never met his standards that is for sure.

Being persecuted changes a person. Being persecuted has one seeing reality in such a different way. Being persecuted causes one to make decisions that are not always in ones best interests.

I think staying in my brother's mansion all week has led me to think about my past and my present. Yes, I can truly say that I survived! I became a Voice for those who too were persecuted, abused, disenfranchised, neglected, bullied, etc. I have a heart for all people no matter what side of the tracks they live on and for that I am eternally grateful!

So that is my blog for today. No pictures, just words so you can paint your own images. Cause you see, I know that probably everyone who is going to bless me by reading this will have their own stories to tell. Some so much more traumatizing, debilitating, and life changing than mine. And I honor your journey as I honor my own!

Blessed be and love to all as we journey together!